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Pro Honoria
by [?]

But that sense of negation, of theoretic insecurity, which was in the air, conspiring with what was of like tendency in himself, made of Lord UFFORD a central type of disillusion. . . . He had been amiable because the general betise of humanity did not in his opinion greatly matter, after all; and in reading these ‘SATIRES’ it is well-nigh painful to witness the blind and naked forces of nature and circumstance surprising him in the uncontrollable movements of his own so carefully guarded heart.

Why is a handsome wife adored
By every coxcomb but her lord?

From yonder puppet-man inquire
Who wisely hides his wood and wire;
Shows Sheba’s queen completely dress’d
And Solomon in royal vest;

But view them litter’d on the floor,
Or strung on pegs behind the door,
Punch is exactly of a piece
With Lorrain’s duke, and prince of Greece.

HORACE CALVERLEY.–Petition to the Duke of Ormskirk.

In the early winter of 1761 the Earl of Bute, then Secretary of State, gave vent to an outburst of unaccustomed profanity. Mr. Robert Calverley, who represented England at the Court of St. Petersburg, had resigned his office without prelude or any word of explanation. This infuriated Bute, since his pet scheme was to make peace with Russia and thereby end the Continental War. Now all was to do again; the minister raged, shrugged, furnished a new emissary with credentials, and marked Calverley’s name for punishment.

As much, indeed, was written to Calverley by Lord Ufford, the poet, diarist, musician and virtuoso:

Our Scottish Mortimer, it appears, is unwilling to have the map of Europe altered because Mr. Robert Calverley has taken a whim to go into Italy. He is angrier than I have ever known him to be. He swears that with a pen’s flourish you have imperiled the well-being of England, and raves in the same breath of the preferment he had designed for you. Beware of him. For my own part, I shrug and acquiesce, because I am familiar with your pranks. I merely venture to counsel that you do not crown the Pelion of abuse, which our statesmen are heaping upon you, with the Ossa of physical as well as political suicide. Hasten on your Italian jaunt, for Umfraville, who is now with me at Carberry Hill, has publicly declared that if you dare re-appear in England he will have you horsewhipped by his footmen. In consequence, I would most earnestly advise—-

Mr. Calverley read no further, but came straightway into England. He had not been in England since his elopement, three years before that spring, with the Marquis of Umfraville’s betrothed, Lord Radnor’s daughter, whom Calverley had married at Calais. Mr. Calverley and his wife were presently at Carberry Hill, Lord Ufford’s home, where, arriving about moon-rise, they found a ball in progress.

Their advent caused a momentary check to merriment. The fiddlers ceased, because Lord Ufford had signaled them. The fine guests paused in their stately dance. Lord Ufford, in a richly figured suit, came hastily to Lady Honoria Calverley, his high heels tapping audibly upon the floor, and with gallantry lifted her hand toward his lips. Her husband he embraced, and the two men kissed each other, as was the custom of the age. Chatter and laughter rose on every side as pert and merry as the noises of a brook in springtime.

“I fear that as Lord Umfraville’s host,” young Calverley at once began, “you cannot with decorum convey to the ignoramus my opinion as to his ability to conjugate the verb to dare.”

“Why, but no! you naturally demand a duel,” the poet-earl returned. “It is very like you. I lament your decision, but I will attempt to arrange the meeting for to-morrow morning.”